Good morning, Philly. The skies are looking a little dismal as we head into into this weekend (again), but hopefully this story of a larger-than-life Black Panther-themed North Philly prom send-off will brighten your day. The mother who famously rented a camel for her son's prom send-off brought back the wildlife this year, renting a jungle cat to attend a full-out Wakanda-themed pre-prom party. In other news, Bryan Colangelo has resigned as Sixers president after a week-long investigation revealed his wife used of anonymous Twitter accounts to release damaging team information.
Last year, her son's Dubai-themed pre-prom bash made national headlines after bringing a live camel to the streets of North Philly. This year, it was a panther that came to the neighborhood for Saudia Shuler's prom send-off, themed after the superhero blockbuster Black Panther movie. Complete with movie scene re-enactments, costumed actors and outfit changes, the "Wakanda Comes to Philly" was also a live show, a film shoot, a catered dinner and block party.
Prom send-offs are the party before the party. The basic premise — an opportunity for relatives and family friends to fawn over the prom-goers — is a custom that goes way back. But these days, in Philly's black community in particular, the prom send-off can be much bigger than the prom itself.
Staff writer Cassie Owens takes an in-depth look at the history behind Philly's lavish proms and seizing the joy of the high school dance send-off.
An investigation by a New York law firm concluded that Colangelo's wife, Barbara Bottini, was responsible for creating and posting from the anonymous accounts but that Colangelo was "the source of the sensitive, non-public, club-related information" the accounts shared. The Sixers' statement further called Colangelo "careless and in some instances reckless" in safeguarding the info.
Because Bottini wiped her phone by resetting it to factory settings, the law firm said it couldn't determine the full scope of how much Colangelo knew about the burner accounts, but the not-so-anonymous tweets aligned with some of the frustration and beliefs shared in the Sixers' organization.
During a press conference, the Sixers announced that Head Coach Brett Brown will temporarily step into Colangelo's former shoes while the team continues to restore its credibility and search for a full-time GM. Front-runners for the position include the Cavaliers' David Griffin, the Spurs' Brian Wright, Sixers' VP Marc Eversely, and Mike Zarren of the Celtics.
Could a David Griffin hire pave the way for Lebron James to come to Philly? Trust the process.
In Philadelphia, the number of immigrants keeps growing.
The foreign-born population increased 69 percent from 2000 to 2016 — to more than 232,000 — and now represents nearly 15 percent of all city residents, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
That's the highest share since World War II.
The newcomers have helped drive Philadelphia's recent population growth following a half-century of decline, increased its workforce, and boosted the number of entrepreneurs. At the same time, the study said, immigrants have added to the already large pool of poor and less-educated residents, and increased the number of people who struggle to speak English, putting demands on schools and services.
We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.
Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!